|Quote, originally posted by Golf GTi 8v »|
|What happens if you wax your car without removing old wax or using dawn dish soap first?|
Modified by Golf GTi 8v at 1:31 PM 9-2-2003
Please don't EVER USE ANY TYPE OF DISH SOAP ON YOUR CAR!!! Besides the wax, which is a protective layer over the paint, paint in itself actually does have it's own nutrients and minerals that give it it's elasticity and deep gloss... if you use dish soap or any type of soap that breaks down those nutrients, your paint will start cracking earlier, it'll look dry all the time, you won't be able to make it look good no matter what you do. If you have done this, then you need to go buy some type of glaze for your car, I recommend Meguires no 7 Show Car Glaze. You apply it to the car like wax, then you let it SIT, for at least 30mins but I recommend an hour. Basically doing that will allow your paint to soak up all of the nutrients it needs to look deep and glossy again and then you just wipe or buff off the excess..
As far as removing the wax, you don't need to. Wax will come off with washings over time, and if you have properly prepped the paint surface before applying wax, there is nothing underneath the wax that needs to be removed. Basically you just wash like normal, attend to any surface defects you might have, and then wax. Here's my whole routine, since I've basically said it all anyways:
1 Wash/Dry (Once a week or as needed for conditions) Wash car IN SHADE, or wait for dusk if you can do a lot of detail work inside your garage (note: regarding drive through car washes...I personally wouldn't take my car through anything that I wouldn't WALK through. I have in the past gone through a 'touchless' wash when it has rained for a solid week or more and it wasn't feasable for me to do it by hand, and while I don't recommend it because those water jets are really high preasure, if you have to it should be okay, just make sure you are ALWAYS keeping a good protective layer of wax on your car). Use a good Car Shampoo and never ever ever any household cleaners, like dish soap. If you have bird droppings or tar, get a non-chemical cleaner designed for bug and tar and just let it sit for 5 or 10 mins (mine favorite is Turtle Wax Bug and Tar and Sap because it's a conditioning oil-based solution that breaks down the contaminents and actually separates it from the car so you damage to the paint) , it should come right off. Dry your car. A word on Micro Fiber Towels: be very cautious of which ones you buy before using on paint. Look for MF towels that are DESIGNED to be used on cars. There are many many different types of MF towels that range from 20,000 TC to 100,000+ TC, and some are made with more polymers that are better for cleaning and don't work as well on cars. The polymers in some MF towels are not specifically abrasive, but, contrary to popular belief, the hooking action of some polymers can damage clear coat, creating a 'glaze' effect on your paint. If you could imagine taking a plastic bag and balling it up and rubbing on your car, it's like that. . That's why they are able to clean so effectively is because of the hooking/scraping action. I have found a few companies and local shops that sell 100% Pure Terry Cloth MF towels, and I use those with a leather chamoise. The chamoise removes a majority of the water and then detail with the 100% Terry cloth MF towels. Also, open all of your doors, trunk, and hood and close a couple of times to get water beads out of the cracks so you can dry em up, and roll your windows down and up a couple of times. If you just bought regular terry cloth towels, wash and dry them a couple times to break off loose threads and fibers so they don't get left on your car. Never use fabric softener when drying any towels or pads you are going to use on your car.
2 Clay Bar (about twice a year). If you are washing your car, and you take your bare hand and go over it and you can feel grit or little sand particles that don't wash off, or basically your car just does NOT feel like glass, you need to do this. It is AMAZING to see the difference if you've never done it. My car was brand new, and after a year I could feel a lot of that becuase of freeway miles. The paint felt like GLASS after I was finished, I was exstatic! It also removes oxidation that the shampoo can't get off (you'll see it because the clay is usually yellow and it'll start turning reddish-brown even though you just finished washing your car).
3 Remove Paint Flaws (as necessary). The Clay Bar will help some, but for more use a swirl remover and a RA buffer if you can, or when you haven't clay-barred. If the scratch or imperfection doesn't come out, got to a Fine Cut cleaner, and then if not that a Medium Cut cleaner. If it stil doesn't come out, you may want to consult a body shop, because repairs that go beyond that are very sensitive and very circumstantial on how they are treated. Always use a foam pad with the RA buffer, as wool pads can be much too abrasive, and terry cloth pads are not as smooth as foam and won't come out as smooth. You might want to use wool if you are already up to the Medium Cut cleaner. Remember, don't overdue it - when youf fix these imperfections you are removing clear coat or paint to do it, so don't go crazy be conservative, and don't press to hard on the buffer, let the movement do the work (can you move your arms around 3 THOUSAND times a minute? I sure can't! ).
4 Surface Prep (every three months or about as often as oil change). Use a swirl remover or a fine cut cleaner and just go over the car to remove any very minor paint imperfections. If an area of the car really doesn't have any, just go over lightly. This does not have to be very rough, becuase a lot of the imperfections are hidden with wax if they are minor enough.
5 Polish (at least six times a year, but you can every month if you feel like it!) Use a Glaze or Polisher that is not as abrasive as Swirl remover to give your car that last mirror polish. I recommend the glaze, especially on dark cars, because it gives the paint nutrients that will help with scratch repair in the future, and really give it a nice deep deep gloss (almost looks like you have a layer of glass over your paint ). This is the step that will take your car from "nice" to "Daayyuuuummmmm!". Just apply it like you would swirl remover, let it sit for a few, and then buff it off.
6 Protect/Wax (once a month). Get a really high quality CARNUBA based wax and apply it in non-repetitive patterns on your ride. let it dry until it will almost just brush off (it will if it is a good quality wax) and then buff it off. Never use circulare motions if doing by hand. These can actually be mistaken for swirl marks. Use big oval motions going first up and down for a couple strokes then left to right for a fews. This should keep things random enough to look really nice! Or just use a RA buffer . I can't stress enough how easy a RA buffer makes things for you! I recommend a liquid wax most of the time - they are just easier to work with and faster to apply, plus they tend to go on more even and you don't accidentally put on too much. You CAN put on too much wax... only the part that touches the car bonds to the paint, anything else comes off anyways and just makes your job a big pain in the arse. I use Meguires High Tech Yellow 26 (because it works BOMB with clear coat..) or there are many good ones out there. After you finish buffing it off, if there is any residue just follow up with Detailers Mist, or I use Meguires Final Inspection no 34. Don't go for Gimic waxes - i.e. "You never have to wax your car again! You can take a flame thrower to it and it'll never damage!!" No, they don't 'wax' airplanes and no wax or anything else you could put on by hand out of a little bottle could withstand flamethrowers . Come on, people! Didn't your Mommy and Daddy ever tell you if it's too good to be true, it probably is??!!
6 Up-keep/Touch-up (daily, bi-daily, whenever needed). I have a California duster. I have heard mixed things about it, but I use it and it works well, as long as the car is DUSTY. Not DIRTY, just DUSTY. I think that's were people go wrong. If you push dirt around on your car, it scratches. Dust will come off and as long as it's not too thick, it won't scratch anything. You can also take the brush part off and throw it in the washer (liquid soap, no fabric softener same as your terry cloth towels). I use Mequires no 34 Final Inspection to polish it back up after dusting. Remember, if you have to do more than dusting, you're BACK AT STEP 1! I wash my car sometimes three times a week because I live in a state where it is impossible for the weather guy/gal to be correct.
So here is the schedule:
Daily (just like anything else, you gotta clean your toys before you put them away! : Dust and detail.
Monthy: Polish and Wax.
Three-months (oil change schedule): Suface prep, AND removing more than minor paint flaws.
Six-Months (March after Winter, September after summer): Clay Bar for deeper settled contaminents.
You think, "Why wouldn't I take out scratches and more-than-minor defects when they come up, and not wait three months?". Well, simply put, because it's easier that way. It takes a good three to four hours to finish everything (that's WITH a RA Buffer and after some experience!), and you don't want to put yourself through all of that when you are going to do it in one or two months anyways. If the defect is major enough that it bugs you that much, you should probably take it to a shop and have them check it out anyways. Rule of thumb, if it catches your fingernail when you lightly drag over it, or if it is wider than a dime, you probably need some professional help, up to and including re-painting.
Good luck y'all! Hope this helps! This is all my experience, and I don't work for a body-shop, but I have put a lot of personal time into my ride and have done a lot of homework a long the way, so IMO are defenitely appreciated! Also I don't work for Meguires, I just have had good experience with them, and in my opinion you should keep one line of products because they're usually designed to work with each other.
EDIT: I changed my mind about MicroFiber Towels.. see above in Wash/Dry!
EDIT: I corrected my view on MF towels to be less biased.
EDIT: Removed the word 'oil' and replaced with 'nutrients' - some people were getting anal about my terminology If you know what I'm talking about, then just leave it alone!!!
Modified by SN2BDNGRZB55 at 7:18 PM 11-9-2003